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Seven Hills

Boston-area exploration, travel notes, crafty things, and other Somervillainy.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Millerton: From Clocktower to Rail Trail

In recent months, the Somervillain has been spending a lot of time in the rural hamlet of Millerton, NY, moreso than in her adopted Somerville, it has sometimes seemed. So let's take a little tour, shall we? It is a bundle of contradictions, for such a small town.

Here is the cute main street, notable for its clocktower building. The vehicles that cruise it are pretty evenly split between local pickup trucks and out-of-town city-person BMWs.

Dutchess County is horse country, and horsey types shop at the Salem Saddlery ...

... but Dutchess County is also near the Berkshires, land of James Taylor and Deadheads, so for the hippie types, we have Healthy Being.

Those who need workboots and flannel shirts go to Saperstein's ...

... and those who need a $70 chocolate torte go to Millerton Market. "Great food," indeed. Let them eat cake!

There is a lot of high and low in Millerton, and not a lot in between. As the volunteer lady at one of Somervillain & Co.'s favorite shops, Thriftique, told me, "I have to drive 40 minutes just to get a spool of thread!" (Thriftique currently sports a lovely window display for St. Patrick's Day, by the way. See all that green?)

The Harlem Valley Rail Trail: a 15-mile paved bicycle trail that cuts right through the heart of Millerton. This, as I understand it, is part of what drew all the Weekend People up here in the first place.

Here, for example, is Oblong Books & Music, which I once saw featured as the setting in a New Yorker cartoon. You know a place has become part of the Manhattanite's universe when it shows up in a New Yorker cartoon.

Irving Farm
coffee house is an actual spin-off of a Manhattan cafe - the original is located on Irving Place near Gramercy Park. But it doesn't matter that it looks like the ultimate weekender hang-out - everyone in Millerton goes to Irving Farm. Coffee, the great equalizer.

But if coffee is not your cup of tea, try local tea-maker Harney & Sons:

Or pick up your papers, tackle, ammo, and Pendletons at Terni's (a.k.a. "Phil's," for those in the know):

Don't eat at "Coach Ali's" Diner unless you like your food stuck on your silverware. Sorry, Coach Ali, we want to love you but them's the facts!

And finally, Somervillain's favorite spot in Millerton, the Millerton Moviehouse.

It may have a crummy sound system and uncomfortable seats, but it offers a surprisingly good selection for a place that only shows three movies at a time, a nice mix of mainstream and arty, and most important of all, at least it is there!

In a town where you can buy a $70 cake and a new shotgun but not a spool of thread, that is saying something.

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At 3/20/2006 1:57 AM, Anonymous karen said...



i'll be in Boston tomorrow night -- can we meet sometime this week for dinner or drinks? i haven't seen you since PARIS!!!!

510-229-7093 or nsparkle@earthlink.net...


At 5/26/2006 12:17 AM, Anonymous James (on 5/25/06) said...

Thanks for all the great pics of our little village. I'll be using some of them in my daughter's project. (1st graders love photos)

Next time you're in town, try the new ice cream shop next to Oblong Jr. on South Center Street. Great single scoop cones for $2.25.

Take care and thanks again.


(A 4th generation Millertonite - raising the 5th.)

At 7/02/2006 9:18 PM, Anonymous Terry Cowgill said...

Gee, I think you can get a spool of thread at the CVS ...

At 7/02/2006 10:12 PM, Blogger Chrissa said...

Sure, you could get a cheap little travel sewing kit there. I don't think that's quite what she was talking about though.

At 1/17/2007 12:06 PM, Anonymous zac said...


Thanks for the pics.
What brought you to Millerton? I'm just curious as a current Cambridge resident who grew up there.
Your comments regarding the $70 torte and new shotgun are spot on by the way.

thanks again.

At 1/17/2007 4:56 PM, Blogger Chrissa said...

Thanks, and I'm glad you felt those observations were apt rather than insulting ;)

My parents lived in the area for several years, so I got to know it then. Apparently more changes are afoot there soon - the run-down old auto shop at the stop light on 22 is being turned into a swanky "Mexican bistro" this summer!

At 6/12/2007 11:54 AM, Anonymous M. E. McClune said...

Ahhh, Millerton. I love it Monday through Friday morning, and then I stay inside my house until Monday again. I have no problem with people coming to my town, but why bring the city atmosphere with you when that's what you're apparently trying to escape? It's getting harder and harder to drive through Main Street on the weekends, and even more difficult just to live and pay the taxes and rents. It's a shame, because I'm only 22 and the Millerton I was a kid in? It's gone. Nice pictures, though. And don't go to Millerton Market...we know someone who bought an empty 30 dollar pie there. And a pricey cake with mold inside. Great food, my country arse! Hehehe, seriously though, you've gotta love M-Town.


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